By Christopher Elliott
Robert Galinak sends his Samsung Galaxy S21 back to the company for repairs. But eight weeks later, the only thing he has to show for it is a high repair bill. So what happened to the phone?
Q: I recently upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S21 to the latest version of Android. After I did, the phone failed to power up. I returned the phone, which is not under warranty, to Samsung for repair. Samsung billed me $161 and promised to return the phone within a week.
That was eight weeks ago.
Since then, I’ve called Samsung repeatedly to find out what happened to my phone. Finally, I said I just wanted my phone back unrepaired. But a representative said they could fix it — just give them three more days. Then Samsung charged me another $99 for a “Std. Repair Fee” and $130 for an “LCD Assembly Fee.” I don’t believe I’ll ever see my phone again.
I want a refund of the $1,000 I spent on the phone or a replacement with the same model. Can you help me?
— Robert Galinak, Abilene, Texas
A: Samsung should have fixed your phone quickly, as promised. Keeping your Galaxy S21 for eight weeks and charging your credit card repeatedly — without delivering your repaired phone — is ridiculous.
A software update should not disable your phone and lead to such expensive repairs. It looks like Samsung wanted to do more than fix the software problem. The LCD Assembly Fee means it is trying to replace a cracked screen. Maybe your phone wasn’t in the best shape before you tried to upgrade it.
Your Galaxy S21 repair has malfunctioned on several levels. Samsung isn’t keeping you posted on the status of your phone. It hasn’t told you what’s wrong with the device. And the company has now charged you almost $400 without delivering your phone.
I would reach out to one of the Samsung executive contacts I publish on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. If you’re not sure how to approach the company, don’t worry — I also have a free guide on how to fix your consumer problem.
You handled this one by the book. You kept copies of your chat with Samsung and detailed phone records. And after waiting a reasonable amount of time, you asked for your phone back so you could get it repaired somewhere else. That would have almost certainly cost you less. It’s unclear why Samsung kept your phone for as long as it did. If the software update caused a problem, that should be a relatively easy fix.
I contacted Samsung on your behalf. The company sent your Galaxy S21 back with the promised repairs, but kept your money.
Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at elliott.org/help